F1 car launch: Ferrari wow fans with on-track action as they unveil SF-23

Ferrari have produced the most exciting car launch of the 2023 off-season so far by including the on-track shakedown of their new challenger, the SF-23, in the event.

The Scuderia unveiled their latest F1 entry at their team headquarters, Maranello, in front of an excited Tifosi crowd. Then, once everyone had the chance to see the car, Ferrari put the SF-23 through its paces with a couple of laps around the track.

Charles Leclerc won a heads or tails over Carlos Sainz, meaning he was the driver who got to have the first laps in their 2023 charger. He did just two laps of Fiorano – permitted under the rules as a “shakedown”, rather than proper testing time.

After hopping out of the SF-23, the Ferrari ace shared his views on the car.

“It feels good,” said Leclerc, quoted via Ferrari’s launch stream. “The first kilometres with this new project, after doing so many on the simulator, feels special. Everything went smoothly!

“Obviously, with two laps it’s difficult to go into detail. But I already gave my first feedback once I was in the car to the engineers to get the first feeling. The car was running well, smooth… so yeah, everything went really well.”

So, this Valentine’s Day launch has seen fans fall in love with Scuderia’s new car. But what is new on the Ferrari SF-23?

That’s Amore: Ferrari reveal stunning SF-23

With only minimal adjustments to regulations, Ferrari have built on their 2022 car via improvements for 2023. But first, let’s look at the livery.

The Italian squad have incorporated more black into this year’s paint scheme. Angular elements of black appear on the sidepod, as well as the engine cover and along the side of the nose. In similarity to last year’s car, Ferrari have kept the black front and rear wings, too.

However, there is a slight adjustment on the rear wing. The Scuderia’s written “Ferrari” text logo appears in white across the wing – a popular addition with supporters.

From an aerodynamic aspect, Ferrari have resisted the trend of “down washing” their sidepods. Instead, they have maintained their “scooped out” sidepod design to channel airflow to the rear of the car.  But Ferrari have trimmed the base and width of the sidepod to allow better flow via the floor.

Overall, the SF-23 has minor tweaks over what was a fantastic car in 2022. Last season’s effort did have one big issue, though: reliability. Therefore, the Scuderia will hope that significant changes have been made underneath the beautiful bodywork.

Ferrari claim that they will have an extra 30 horsepower from their power unit this year. While increased performance is great, F1’s oldest team will need to eliminate technical gremlins if they are to compete with Red Bull for the title.

Meanwhile, new Team boss Frederic Vasseur will hope to prevent a repeat of 2022’s strategic gaffes that hampered Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz being able to challenge their rivals, too.

Featured image credit: Twitter/Formula 1